Friday, December 23, 2005

No Relief

More gloom and doom from Obsidian Wings:

I have written previously about the case of Abu Bakker Qassim and A'del Abdu al-Hakim, the two Uighurs who are still being held at Guantanamo, four years after they were captured by bounty hunters and turned over to the US for cash, and nine months after a tribunal found that -- oops! -- they were not enemy combatants after all. Today the judge who is hearing their case issued an extraordinary decision.

In it, the judge reached two conclusions. The first is that the detention of Qassim and al-Hakim is illegal:

"The detention of these petitioners has by now become indefinite. This indefinite imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay is unlawful."

The second is that there is nothing he can do about it:

"In Rasul v. Bush, the Supreme Court confirmed the jurisdiction of the federal courts “to determine the legality of the Executive’s potentially indefinite detention of individuals who claim to be wholly innocent of wrongdoing.” 542 U.S. at 485. It did not decide what relief might be available to Guantanamo detainees by way of habeas corpus, nor, obviously, did it decide what relief might be available to detainees who have been declared “no longer enemy combatants.” Now facing that question, I find that a federal court has no relief to offer."

We are illegally detaining innocent people, and there is nothing that a federal court can do about it.

I'll stop for a moment to let that sink in.

Read the whole posting here.

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